Updated: Jul 7, 2021
Many years ago, my husband asked me, “ if you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?” I quickly answered, “ a library full of large print books”. I love to read; to learn new things, to go new places and to meet new characters found in the pages of a good book.
In my journey of vision loss, there was a season that large print books were my only option- technology wasn’t what it is today!
One time when my parents were coming out to visit us in Tanzania, I had asked them to bring us some much ‘wanted’ supplies from the U.S. On the the list were peanut butter, seasoning packets, almonds,chocolate chips, black olives and more. The more was seven LARGE PRINT books. Now, when the weight of a suitcase is thought out very carefully, one has to place things in order of priority. Seven large print books was no small request but in the end, they won out over the black olives.
I love books!
Books tell stories. In a book we find chapters, pages, paragraphs and single sentences .
In books, we follow the journey, the words and the thoughts of characters created by an author.
Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t put down? Sometimes you have the ending figured out and other times, the final page is a complete surprise.
In either case, it is the books with well developed characters, written and researched by an author, who has crafted a story in such a way that I can imagine a time and place, that become my favorites!
But what would happen if we shut a book before it’s end or removed and read only one single page? The book would be an incomplete work. We could imagine the narrative or try to fill in the blanks but we wouldn’t really know the whole storyline.
This has me thinking.
If people were to read or judge my life, who I am, my actions, my words based on just one single page torn out of my book, it would be incomplete. I suppose some might read the sentence where I wounded someone with harsh words. They might read the paragraph that shows me as a rebellious teen, lying to my parents or that page when I chose to ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit and walked away from the Lord for a time. Can you imagine if all there was was that one page?
I don’t know what is in your story but I believe, because of the grace of Jesus, our lives are more than the sum of one single page.
Aren’t you beyond grateful that when we ask for his forgiveness, Jesus is able to erase those pages that are wrought with ignorance and sin? I am!
Of course, we still see our smudges that are left on those pages, but we should let them only serve as reminders of his ability to forgive, rewrite and edit our stories. He is the author and somehow he can take what we have written, scribbled or doodled and make it into something really good. If he is able to see past our mistakes can we? Or do we judge ourselves and others through a very narrow lense, just one page, forgetting the complete work is not yet finished ? I think our part is to simply keep submitting our underdeveloped paragraphs and not always well written pages to him.
When we surrender our lives to the author, he promises to develop and perfect us, forgive and correct us, encourage and inspire us, rewrite and edit us. Whew!
While I still need large print, I am reminded today that, even when I am not completely sure of all the details in the chapters to come, he is still crafting my story. He is working with eyes of mercy and grace. He doesn’t need large print. We are seen perfectly by one who has no lack, no deficiency, no imperfection or disability. It is the ongoing love of Jesus that compels him to author, edit and complete our story.
Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 1:12
Take courage, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Lord, thank you that you don’t see or judge us based on one page in our story. Thank you that your plan is,and always has been, to complete the work you began in us. Jesus, help us to see ourselves and others through your perfect eyes of grace. Help us to keep submitting our lives to you, trusting your forgiveness for the confessed pages of the past and by giving you control over the pages that have yet to be written. In Jesus’ Name, Amen